Action for Happiness is a company in the United Kingdom whose sole mission is to spread Happiness across the globe.  They have developed a class called Exploring What Matters.  We will be one of the first classes in the United States and YOU can be part of it!  However, there are only 18 spots available!  There are potentially up to 4,000 people receiving this notification so if you are interested, jump on this right away!  The class is on a donation basis – which is great because we believe everyone deserves to be happy, not just those that can pay big money.  The class will be held at a location in the heart of Salt Lake City with easy freeway access and public transportation (including Trax!).  Class will be held for eight consecutive weeks on Saturdays from May 11th to June 29th from 11:30am to 1:30pm   Click here to sign up now.

Frank Clayton, The Happy Therapist

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Article on KSL.com
Mike and JanetSALT LAKE CITY — Four years ago I called my best friend, Michael. We’ve known each other since grade school and made a point to catch up at least once a month. When I asked how he was doing, he said “Same (stuff), different day.” He was at work. He told me about how he and his girlfriend, Janet, had gone out to dinner and thought how she might be “the one.”

Continue reading Six Things You Might Take For Granted

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Help Find Shae Maddox

Help find Shae Maddox

Click on her picture

I think one of the greatest uses of the internet is to help spread information quickly. There is a missing girl named Shae Maddox. She may be in the Salt Lake City area. Please click on this link ( http://helpmefindshae.blogspot.com/ ) to help find her. I will post the flyer on my office window, pass them out to students of Happiness 101 and hand them out to fellow business owners. I think handing them out to cab drivers and pizza delivery people would be ideal. There is also a Facebook Group dedicated. Join us and help us spread the word.

Frank

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You won't believe what this picture is made of. Read on.

In Happiness 101, we have four rules:

No Blame

No Shame

No Guilt

No Complaining

We call these rascals “Happiness Robbers” a term coined by Marci Shimoff.  In short, blame, shame, guilt and complaining emerge when we are in victimhood and not taking full responsibility for our Happiness.  As with any good rule, we also have consequences for breaking the rule.  The three consequences are: 1) sing a happy song for one minute, 2) pay $2 to charity and 3) give 10 positives.  Having these consequences does two things – it raises student’s level of awareness of what they are saying and the positive energy of the consequence offsets the negative energy brought into the class.

Well, it seems that I broke my own rule.  I complained.

On February 20th, I posted an article called “No News is Good News” in which I complained.  I will not make matters worse by reiterating it here.  I also will make no excuses.  I will, however, pay up for breaking (what has become) one of the rules of my life.  So, here are my 10 positives:

1) I am thankful to the banana peel.  This natural protective layer helps to keep the banana fresh and ready to eat.  Banana peels have also raised the level of “happy chemicals” in millions of people by way of slapstick comedy.

2) I appreciate aluminum.  This amazing light-weight metal has been used in everything from building materials to the container from which I drink.  It is also recyclable!

3) This shirt I am wearing.  Does a great job of keeping me warm and from scaring people away.  It is a navy blue polo with a kangeroo over (what would be) the left breast pocket.  It reminds me of a wonderful trip to Coff’s Harbor Australia and of the great time at the Sydney Aquarium.  This shirt has also been a great conversation starter, which has helped me to better connect with others.

4)  That my eyes are getting better!  My last optometrist had the foresight (sorry, couldn’t resist) to NOT give my eyes as much power as they craved in my last pair of glasses.  This made my eyes work harder and at my last check-up, the doc (a different optometrist) said I needed a new prescription because my eyes got better.

5) Spell-check.  Microsoft Word’s spell-check helped me to figure out how to spell optometrist.  I’m sure Spell-check has saved me on countless papers, E-mails and resumes over the years.  Thank you, Microsoft!

6) My grey scarf.  ‘Never was much of a scarf man – until this year!  In years past I complained a LOT during winter because of the cold.  Ironically, I had plenty of warm clothing to wear but did not wear it.  Teaching Happiness 101 has helped me to take true responsibility for my Happiness and so I have been dressing warmer – including my grey scarf.  It is long enough and short enough.  It is warm and doesn’t scratch.  It probably saved me from a cold this year – I haven’t had one.

7)  My wife’s blue eyes.  I appreciate my wife VERY much, but I always choose to appreciate something different each time I count the positives.  She, of course, was the very first blessing I counted on my very first list.  Her eyes are beautiful and sometimes sparkle with mischief.  I appreciate the love they have mirrored back to me for over 22 years.

8 ) Raisins.  The raisins in my drawer really saved me tonight.  I forgot to bring something to eat.  I’m glad someone took the chance to eat a dried up wrinkled grape.  Where would Raisinettes be without them?  The same place my stomach would be right now: empty.

9) You Tube.  I really love logging into You Tube after a long day and stumbling on all kinds of amazing, interesting and  funny videos.  Olga Kay is my guilty pleasure.  She makes me smile and laugh – BOTH which are good for my Happiness.

Click to see the art and the artist

10) Lint.  Hmmmmmmmmm  okay.  I’ll admit, I’m stretching on this one.  But that’s good!  It helps to stretch my positive muscles to think of how I could be grateful for lint.  Well, if we had no clothes, we would have no lint – so I can be VERY grateful to have clothes that made the lint.  But appreciating the lint on its own merits….. (stretching) I know!  If there was no lint, then there would not have been a need to invent a lint trap.  So inventing the lint trap put food on the lint trap inventor’s table.  I think his name was J. Ross Moore (yes, I tried to look it up).  Oh, one more reason to be grateful for lint: would you believe lint art?!?!  I just discovered this just now.  Wow!  Go Heidi Hooper!! Her art has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Wow!

I must say, writing those 10 positives and spending the time to write about and really appreciate these 10 things really lifted my spirits. Give it a try and please share your answers.

~Frank Clayton, LPC

Addendum:
Bonus!
11) Learning about Heidi Hooper and her amazing story of how she came to make her art out of lint. Click here to see the You Tube video of Heidi Hooper and how she turned her pain and her lint into art! Thank you again You Tube.

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happy drawerLast night I had the pleasure of listening to Wendy Mendenhall speak. She is putting together an amazing institution called Tao Metaversity. You will be hearing a lot more about it over the coming months – trust me on that! You can read all about it at http://taometaversity.wordpress.com During her talk, Wendy told an amazing story. She was asked to go to a school and address classes of three different grades: second, third and sixth grades, to be specific. Wendy enthusiastically asked the second graders, “Who here is an artist?”. EVERY hand went up! She went around the room asking what art they specialized in. One boy said, “I dressed myself!” Another girl said she decorated her room. Each student excitedly shared how they, in their own way, expressed themselves as an artist. When Wendy went to the third graders and asked “Who here is an artist?” – HALF the hands went up. Wendy asked herself “What happened to the other half of the artists?” When she went to the sixth graders and asked the same question, only one hand went up. That one student’s hand was literally being yanked down by the student next to him, telling him “You’re not an artist. Put your hand down. You’re embarassing yourself.” The other student struggled to keep his hand up, insisting “I am too an artist!” What happened? Their definition of an artist got smaller and smaller until it was confined and narrow.
Wendy pointed out that everything in the room was created by an artist. An architect designed the room itself. Someone with super creativity designed those chairs – they were unique in design and comfortable. The clothes we were wearing, the jewelry that adorned us, etc. etc.
It made me think “How am I an artist?” How are YOU an artist?

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At times I have been called Dr. Clayton. While this is quite flattering, I am not a doctor. The difference is that a doctor has received a doctorate level of education (usually adding up to 8+ years of class time). I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). I am at the master’s degree level of education as are all fully licensed therapists. It can be a bit confusing because there are several different kinds of therapists. There is also the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The easy rule of thumb here is Utah is that if the credentials begin with an “L” they are a fully licensed clinician at the master’s level.
While I’m on the subject, I thought I would further clarify the difference between a medical doctor, a psychologist and a psychiatrist. A medical doctor has a doctorate in medicine. A psychologist has a doctorate in psychology. Now, a psychiatrist has TWO doctorates! Can you imagine all the school they have gone through?? Yes, TWO doctorates! One in psychology and a second doctorate in medicine. If you have any questions on the issue of licensure and how it works, please post your question that others may benefit as well.
~Frank Clayton, LPC

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Click here to see Bhutan's plan for GNH

Click here to see Bhutan's plan for GNH

The small country of Bhutan made a declaration that their country would foster and support their G.N.H. – Gross National HAPPINESS! There is actually a leg of the Bhutanese government dedicated to cultivating Happiness! Check out their website. Sangay Chophel, a researcher for the Centre for Bhutan Studies declared, “Five dimensions – giving and volunteering, social cohesion, safety, family, and duration of stay in the community have been identified as the determinants of community vitality, bearing in mind what is important for one’s well-being”. As part of their extensive studies, they have found social support to be immensely beneficial to the happiness of their people. The individual is supported by their family. The family supports the community. The community supports the country – and due to this rare governmental structure, the government supports them back.
While we do not yet have a federal agency dedicated to Happiness, we may start in our own backyard.

Happiness 101 is creating ambassadors of Happiness and so far our impact has spread from Utah to Wisconsin, California and New Mexico. The support of classes like these have proven to help people live happier lives. Join us. Happiness 101 is a FREE class conducted every Tuesday at 7pm. This week we will discuss practicing acts of kindness and its impact on our happiness and social connectivity.

Call 801-262-0317 for recorded information, visit us at www.saltlakementalhealth.com or click here to join us on Facebook

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Same Stuff, Different Day

Dave: “Hey! What’s going on?”
John: “You know. Same stuff, different day”

It was a normal conversation, on a normal day between two old friends. The conversation went on, well, like normal. Work is not what he wished it were but John was making it. John has been working on fixing up the house. The Steelers won though. “Go Steelers!” But overall: “Same stuff, different day”. The two thiry-somethings hung up like normal. “Catch ya later” rather than “I love you” – because that’s not what guys do, right? Even though they’ve known each other for 25 years, they don’t say it.

Two days later, Dave gets a call. John has been in an accident. They don’t know details right now, they’ll let him know.

One month later: John friend recognizes Dave’s voice but can’t see him. The doctor’s hope his vision returns. John’s motor skills are impaired. He may be able to swing a hammer to work on his house again – in a year or maybe never. They’re just not sure of the extent of the damage. Something is not quite right with John mentally. He asks the same questions over and over “Where am I?” “The hosptial? How did I get here? What happened?” They tell him, he cries and gets upset. Twenty minutes later, he asks, “Where am I?”. They’re still running tests and doing the best they can for John but there seems to be a lot more questions than answers.

As Dave leaves the care facility, drained from putting on the brave face for John and his loved ones, he thinks of how fragile life is. He realized he and John had lived their life day to day, taking for granted the simple things like the ability to walk, to write, to watch the Steelers, to work and the ability to do simple chores or fix up the house.

As Dave wipes a tear from his eye, his phone rang. An old buddy from college. “How you doing?” his friend asked. Dave started to give the pat answer, “Same….” He paused. “Life is good! I’m vertical. I’ve got my health. How are you?” The two caught up. They hadn’t spoken in months. His buddy finished up, “Well, it was good to talk to ya, man. You take care.” “You too, man. ‘Love ya.” The friend paused. “I love you too, man.” They hung up. He’d said it. He broke the “guy rule” and said it. No matter what else happened, he said it.

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Today we honor the heros and the fallen of 9/11.

As a nation we have grieved the events of that tragic day.

As a therapist, when it comes to grief, I only give people one piece of advice: be where you are in the grieving process. If today you feel sadness, please honor that by feeling it and expressing it. Being where you are on the path is how you reach acceptance. Even when you reach acceptance you may see or hear something that may stir up feelings of anger or sadness. Again, I urge you to be where ever you are in the process. Of course, this means feeling it. If you are feeling angry, I ask that you express it in a healthy way – not in any way that might hurt another emotionally or physically. Healthy expressions of anger could be talking to a trusted person, journalling or using your anger to do something constructive.

Today, you can go to the Patriot Day Healing Field in Sandy to remember the fallen and the heroes of 9/11.

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happy workerA day off. Football. A way to mark the end of summer. That’s what Labor Day means to most Americans. But have you stopped and thought about what it’s really about? Labor Day was declared in the United Stated following the Pullman Strike in 1994. It was whisked through Congress by President Cleveland in hopes that the acknowledgment of the labor force would prevent further bloodshead. Bloodshead over a job. Workers had to bond together and rise up for things we now take for granted like a fair wage and safe working conditions. I invite you today to appreciate improved working conditions. You might even take a moment to appreciate your job or career. There are many without jobs right now. If you are so inclined, send good wishes to the unemployed and hope they can celebrate Labor Day next year and do so with a grateful heart.

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